Minimum Effective Dosage: Train Smarter Not Harder
There are few things as exciting as new boot campers eager to make serious lifestyle changes and make up for lost time in their quest to get fit and healthy. Their motivation and passion are contagious, and watching transformations is one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a trainer.
But in their excitement, many boot campers make a common mistake – overtraining. The thinking goes like this: “If 20 push-ups are good, then 30 must be better,” or “If 35 pounds challenges my muscles, then I’ll really get ripped if I do 50!” In other words, more is better and leads to faster results.
Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case, and taken to the extreme can lead to getting hurt and MISSING workouts. As with most things in life, moderation and consistency in fitness are the keys to success . Too much of anything can be a bad thing, and there is no need to do more than the minimum needed for maximum results.
For example, consider medication. If 200 milligrams of Advil takes away your headache, you do not need to take 1000 milligrams. It will not make your headache go away any more effectively, because 200 milligrams will make it disappear completely! Taking 1000 milligrams is not only wasted effort, but it could have dangerous effect on your health.
It is important to realize that over training in fitness not only doesn’t deliver faster and better results, but it can lead to injury and burnout . Pushing your body beyond what it can effectively handle will usually result in a strain or muscle tear.
Likewise, for those just starting, if you blast out of the gate at top speed with an intensity that you can’t possibly sustain, you will burn out and likely give up. The wisest choice is to practice moderation and consistency.
Remember, what you do every day is more important than what you do every once in a while. Those everyday activities may not be terribly exciting while you are doing them. And you may not feel like you are making progress. But give the compound effect time to work. Your effort will pay off. You will become stronger, more fit, and others will begin to notice.
Take care of your body and your mind by practicing the “Minimum Effective Dosage” strategy. Do what is necessary to get you to your goal, one step at a time. Better yet, work with a Certified Fitness Professional or Specialist to determine your programming needs and you can bet your ass that you will get there in half the time it would normally take you doing it by yourself!
'What you do every day is more important than what you do every once in a while.'
reason why celebrities and other highly successful people use coaches and
And that is why so many people are turning to Private Coaches & Personal Trainers to help them move from mediocre to excellence in their pursuit of health, fitness and weight loss.
Sport Scientists have shown how Group Fitness classes leave you with more muscle or better tone.
More than 91% of people who start an exercise program quit early —even before their new routine becomes a habit, and 61% will give up within the very first week!1
Why? Because changing your lifestyle is hard. In spite of all the infomercials and ads claiming that you can lose weight and transform your body in thirty days (or six weeks at the longest), the truth is, getting fit requires a lifestyle makeover that takes
If any of these components is missing, the odds of success plummet.
The good news is that one component virtually guarantees the continued presence of the other two, and that is support- -and support is the heart of what a good Coach provides.
A Coach helps with the time factor in two ways:
1. Finding time in your schedule to actually work out
2. Sticking with your program long enough to reach your goals.
A Coach supports you looking at your schedule and find ways to make fitness fit. A seasoned Coach or personal trainer has much wisdom in the area of time management and is a master at figuring out how to work exercise into even the busiest schedules. He can also design workouts that are both efficient and effective. Finally, a Private Coach can also provide the motivation that you need to keep going, long after you would have stopped were you doing working out by yourself.
Determination is also an area that a Coach/Personal trainer supports you in. At the beginning of your new fitness program, you have excitement, novelty and the joy of discovery to keep you going. But eventually, what used to be new and fun becomes old and boring. If determination fades, you will find yourself wandering off track in search of the next exciting pursuit.
Your Coach(es) will help you keep your determination. He will remind you why you are doing what you are doing. He will get into your life and help you move past obstacles that arise, and he will talk you out of excuse-making. He will constantly hold before you the consequences of your choices. He will keep you moving forward.
And finally, a Coach supports you as your source for practical, step-by-step instructions for building health. At HIT Fitness Warehouse, Your Coach is an expert in the field of Exercise Science. While under the tutelage of any Coach at HIT Fitness Warehouse, you do not have to design your own program of fitness, constantly wondering whether you are doing the right exercises in the right way. A Private Coach or Personal Trainer will create a customized blueprint that will help you achieve your goals.
A Coach or personal trainer is your insurance policy against being another number in the appalling fitness drop-out statistics. Don’t try to go it alone; we all need help.
Position yourself for success by working with a Personalized Group Fitness or a Private Coach/Personal Trainer and watch fitness and robust health become part of your life.
Prepare for Success: Back to School Tips
Have you noticed? The days are getting a little shorter, store aisles are full of school supplies and you may have seen a school bus or two making practice runs in your neighborhood. All this can only mean one thing: it’s back to school time!
If you are like most people, you are not quite ready to say goodbye to the relaxing days of summer. Late nights and lightly-scheduled days are a welcome break after a year of early mornings and homework deadlines. Those slow days of summer are such a welcome break!
But with the approach of the new school year comes the necessity to ease back into a routine that helps your children succeed. Changing routines can be tough under any circumstances. But when our routines change from ‘fun and relaxing’ to ‘less fun and somewhat stressful,’ it can be even tougher to pull off!
The best way to lessen the shock of a new school year is to ease your children into their school routine before school starts. Getting a jump start on new schedules and new responsibilities will allow them to adjust before school actually starts and the pace really picks up.
Here are some areas to focus on for back to school prep:
1. Sleep schedule. Almost without realizing it, we tend to slip into a different sleep pattern during summer—later nights make for later wake times. This is probably due to several factors, including the fact that the days are longer and the school bus isn’t coming! When school starts, however, your children need to be on a different sleep schedule, otherwise they will have a very hard time getting up. Try this: a few days before school starts, ease their bed times and wake times back 15 minutes each day. This will help them to painlessly get used to a more school-friendly sleep schedule.
2. Daily schedule. Your children have probably grown accustomed to low pressure schedules this summer. However, when school starts, having a schedule is critical. There are only so many hours each day to fit in school, homework, extra-curricular commitments, church and chores. Make it all work by creating a schedule that your children can follow.
3. Chores. The only way to make a busy household run smoothly is for everyone to pull their share of the load. Assign each of your children age-appropriate chores to do. Offer rewards for a job well done and give additional chores for non-compliance. Even preschoolers can help around the house by emptying small trash cans and picking up toys and books.
4. Planners. Buy each of your children a planner and help them to get used to using it before school starts. The more familiar they are with their planner, the easier it will be for them to use it when classes and other activities get underway. Encourage them to write in their class schedule, their homework schedule, their sports and club schedules and even their chore routines.
5. Fitness. It goes without saying that your children need to move. Literally. Sitting for long hours in the classroom and on the bus hinders their ability to concentrate and also lowers their energy levels. If your school does not offer a physical education program, get your child involved in some kind of exercise routine . If your school does offer a physical education program, get your child involved in some kind of exercise routine to familiarize them with slightly more advanced movements and the importance of exercise. Not only will their grades likely improve, but they will be less stressed in general and will be more able to handle the pressures that school brings.
Back to school prep does not have to be difficult; it just takes a little planning. Using these tips will help to instill good habits in your children that will set them up for success in the classroom and in real world.
*To get your child involved in a youth fitness program reach out to us and ask about our HIT FIT KIDS and Athletes in Training (AIT) programs .
If you have been working out over the past winter and spring
months, you may be surprised at the new challenges that summertime fitness
throws at you. So now on top of the Tactical Tuesday Challenges, Great 8 Challenges, and 24 Day Challenges, you have been slammed with Mother Nature's challenge! You are probably discovering that your body reacts to the heat and
humidity differently than it does to cooler, drier conditions. And if you have not discovered this already then start paying attention to your body and the little adjustments that must be made. The thirst, the excess sweating, the fatigue setting in a little sooner.
But don’t let the heat cause you to lose your momentum. You can keep working hard in the summer, you just have to adjust your approach a little. Keep the following summertime fitness HIT FIT Tips in mind as you continue getting stronger and healthier.
1. Cool down first! You can improve your performance in the heat by lowering your body temperature before heading outside. Taking a cold shower or simply putting ice cold cloths on the back of your neck can help you to better tolerate the heat.
2. Find some shade. You may need to move your workout to a different area in order to be in the shade. If you are a runner or biker, change your route to a wooded area.
3. Avoid caffeine. Because caffeine acts as a diuretic, it forces water out of your system. This is the last thing you want when exercising in the summer heat. Save your caffeine intake for several hours before or after your workout, rather than near the time you will be exercising.
4. Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workout will reduce the heat stress on your body.
5. Choose your clothing carefully. Now more than ever it is important to wear clothing that will move sweat away from your body and help it evaporate it quickly. A cotton t-shirt may be fine in the winter, but you will be much cooler in a fabric designed for exercise.
6. Change your workout time. If you are used to exercising during lunch or in the afternoon, you may need to adjust your schedule for the summer months. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for outdoor exercise. On blistering, hot days, even the shade will not bring much relief.
7. Wear white or light colored clothing. Lighter colors reflect the heat better than darker, more intense colors.
8. Take breaks. Your body can only handle so much extreme heat. When the thermometer climbs, you may find that you need more frequent breaks to keep performing at your best. Be sure to take them. Listening to your body and caring for it is not a sign of weakness: it’s smart.
9. Monitor your heart . The heat places greater stress on your heart. Keep tabs on your heart rate as you work out in the heat. If it spikes quickly or stays too high, give it a rest.
10. Hit the gym. You may find that it is best to simply move your workout indoors for the summer. If you would prefer not to put your body under summer stress, work out in a gym, and if I may suggest a GREAT gym, HIT Fitness Warehouse is South Florida's #1 Performance and Fitness Training Facility! Sorry, couldn't help but throw that out there. You will have the added benefit of personal attention , group accountability and best of all ....Great Coaches that care and have made Coaching & Training their lifetime career! It’s a great time to work on form, increase intensity, and plan out a new and exciting workout routine. Beat the heat by mixing things up this summer-try a gym workout.
Fueling your Body for Optimal Performance
From weekend warriors to Ironman finishers, performance is directly tied to diet. If you want to train at the peak of your ability and recover quickly, you must be intentional about what you eat, taking care to feed your body what it needs. Trying to work out with a body that is starving for essential nutrients will end only in frustration; and frustration eats your momentum and resolve with a voracious appetite.
Make the most of every minute you work out by fueling your body sensibly. Let’s look at the basics.
Nutrition 101: The Foundation
The big three nutrients that you need to be concerned with are carbohydrates, protein and fat. An eating strategy that balances these three macro-nutrients will skyrocket your fitness results.
· Carbohydrates: Some have argued that carbohydrates are the most important nutrient that an athlete consumes, because carbs fuel muscle. Every time you move one of your muscles, you are using carbohydrates. Your body breaks down carbs into sugars and then stores them in your muscles and livers. If you eat more than can be stored in either of these two places, the excess is stored as fat in your body.
Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.
· Protein: In order to build muscle, you must have protein. Muscle is the foundation of every athlete: without a solid muscle base, you will be ineffective any fitness pursuit. Muscle also plays an important role in protecting you from diabetes. The more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body can uptake glucose from your bloodstream.
It is important to eat protein daily, because your body cannot store protein very easily. Protein from animal sources is the easiest way to get complete protein, but plant-based proteins can be combined to provide complete protein as well.
· Fat: It is unfortunate that fat came under such fire during the last decade or so. Fat is essential and you need a lot of it. The key is to know what kind of fat to eat. Avoid anything that is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. These fats are also called trans-fats and are very unhealthy. Instead try to get the majority of your fat from olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, wild-caught fish and free-range animal products such as butter, cheese, yogurt, beef and poultry.
Finding the balance
If you are like many people, you are often confused about how to balance out the different kinds of foods you eat. It seems as though there is a new diet promotion every day, promising all sorts of miracles.
The key, however, to fueling your body for peak performance is balance and moderation. In The New Rules of Lifting for Women , Cassandra Forsythe insists that eating a ratio of 40/30/30 (carbohydrate/protein/fat) will bring the best results. Start here and then adjust the ratios to see what best suits your body.
Remember: you must give your body what it needs to perform. If you don’t, you will end up tired, weak, and prone to frustration because you won’t have the energy or strength to work out. The better you fuel your body, the better it will serve you in your pursuit of fitness and health.
*Contact us for your customized nutritional program
Kevin Kohan, Sports Nutrition Specialist
We’ve talked before about the differences between men and women when it comes to fiber type distribution as well as body composition. But what does that really mean? Are there any functional implications?
If you asked me these questions when I was in the lab I would probably say well… it depends. And then I would pepper you with questions. What’s her training status? What was it 10 years ago? What is her body type? How much does she weigh? What about body fat?
But, if you catch me in the gym I would promptly invite you to load a barbell with 2x bodyweight and we’d sort it out.
The literature on this topic is too scarce and of course mixed. However, there are some common themes that underpin why we sometimes see sex differences in strength and power: body size and training status.
Strength & Power
To start with I want to clearly define what I mean by strength and power. When I say strength I am really referring to raw force production. When I say power I mathematically mean force x velocity. Both are determined by a multitude of variables: muscle-cross sectional area, contractile velocity, neurological control, and even pennation angle. We are living at the far left end of the fitness continuum here focusing purely on quick and explosive movements. Think deadlifts, squats, vertical jumps, power cleans, you get the picture.
Sex Differences – Absolute Values
When compared to men, women tend to be able to produce (on average) two-thirds of what their male peers can produce(1). This sex related difference in not consistent throughout the body though with values for the lower limbs being much closer to men and values for the upper body being much further away(1,2). However, men have much larger body sizes, more body mass, more fat-free muscle mass, and a different distribution of fat-free mass than women.
It’s All Relative
When strength and power are considered relative to fat-free mass sex related differences tend to disappear(1-4). I use the phrase “tend to” because there are many confounding variables. Several studies of trained men and women matched for activity level show no gender difference in strength between men and women when expressed relative to fat-free mass(3). However, several other studies have shown significant differences do exist(2-4).
Of the studies that show a difference there are two major criticisms. First, we tend to see significant differences in strength and power when untrained individuals are tested(3). This could be physiological, but it could also be the result of significant gender differences in lifelong physical activity levels(5). Therefore, activity level needs to be carefully controlled when comparing these two groups(3).
Secondly, when strength and power are expressed relative to cross-sectional area rather than just fat-free mass the sex related differences almost completely disappear(1-4). Why the difference? Well, fat-free mass isn’t purely skeletal muscle it includes bone, connective tissue, water, etc. So when we isolate only muscle we see almost no difference in strength and velocity characteristics between men and women.
But, just to twist the story one more time. A few different authors have shown that even when expressed relative to cross-sectional area women have lower strength and power capabilities than men in the upper body(2,6). I have to wonder though if this can’t also be partly explained by differences in physical activity. How many women do you know who have bench pressed regularly? While I can’t give you the answer right now, what I can tell you is that my interest is sparked. Don’t be shocked if you get recruited to participate in a study in the near future.
While it is clear that there are absolute differences in strength and power between men and women, these differences tend to disappear when relative strength and power are considered. Things such as body size, skeletal muscle mass, and training status will all have a significant impact on absolute values. There is some evidence that lower body strength is less affected than upper body strength, but this is primarily due to differences in skeletal muscles mass distribution between men and women. The science isn’t perfect yet, but more often than not we see that pound for pound women are just as strong and powerful as men.
0. Baechle, Thomas R., Earle, Roger W., and National Strength & Conditioning Association. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 3rd ed. 2008. Print.
0. Miller, A.E.J., et al., Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 1993. 66(3): p. 254-262.
0. Jones, E.J., et al., Cross-sectional area and muscular strength. Sports Medicine, 2008. 38(12): p. 987-994.
0. Trappe, S., et al., Single muscle fibre contractile properties in young and old men and women. The Journal of physiology, 2003. 552(1): p. 47-58.
0. Hunter, S.K., Sex differences in human fatigability: mechanisms and insight to physiological responses. Acta physiologica, 2014. 210(4): p. 768-789.
0. Hoffman, T., R.W. Stauffer, and A.S. Jackson, Sex difference in strength. The American journal of sports medicine, 1979. 7(4): p. 265-267.
Regret-proof your life: set a deadline
A year from now you will wish you had started today.
It’s Time to Shake Things Up
Prevent deadline-creep: get competitive
Exercising by yourself can be tough. Nobody knows if you skip, there is no one to push you a little harder, and you don’t have a commitment to anyone else. One day off turns into two, and before you know it, weeks have passed without you even raising a sweat. Getting fit in isolation can be done, but it’s much harder and requires a resolve few of us have.
1. The biggest benefit that a group personal training offers is support . When you join a group personal training program, you are ensuring that you have like-minded people to motivate you and a qualified leader to help you reach your weight loss and fitness milestones. If staying motivated is a challenge for you, then a group personal training program will energize you to keep going. Members of group personal training programs can become close friends as they work hard and celebrate together.
2 . You will push yourself harder in a group personal training program. During your workouts, there are no distractions to cause you to lose your momentum or excuses to slack off. Your coach will expect compliance, and while we will certainly work within your ability, you will be amazed at how far you can go in the right environment. The feeling you get when you know you have pushed yourself a little further than you thought you could will give you confidence in all other areas of your life.
3 . Cost wise , you can’t go wrong with a group personal training program. They are led by certified personal trainers (not group fitness instructors), and this means that you get tailored, one-on-one help that approaches the attention that you get when you hire a personal trainer. But it costs much less!
4 . Ready for quick results ? Personalized Small Group Training program generally incorporate variations of high intensity interval training or HIIT for short. HIIT training has been scientifically proven to be more effective and more efficient than traditional exercist programs. We’re not playing games in here. Our goal is to change your life and have a great time doing it!
5 . It’s fun ! Team training takes the torture out of serious workouts. There is nothing like laughing with each other as you struggle through those last push ups or pant through that last few seconds of burpees. In fact, a recent study has proven that pleasant distraction reduces pain.1 Don’t worry-we’re not going to torture you, but any serious fitness work has moments of discomfort. The distraction of having others around you doing the same thing can mean the difference between finishing with a smile on your face and not finishing at all.
Some days you
simply do not have time for your usual workout.
Perhaps you are traveling or you have meetings from dawn ‘til dusk. Or maybe something totally unexpected comes
up and your workout time disappears.
When life steals your exercise time, however, you do not have to forgo your workout. If you have just a few minutes, you can burn off 100 calories, get your heart pumping fast and redeem at least a little of your workout.
Here are 10 ways to torch 100 calories
Use them on busy days or even to supercharge your normal workout days. Most estimates are for a person weighing approximately 130-150 pounds. If you weigh more, you can probably shorten the duration, but if you are lighter, add a few minutes to ensure that you burn at least 100 calories.
1. Take the stairs . Stair climbing for 15 minutes will burn 137 calories. Have a 15 minute break at work? Find a stair case and set your phone alarm to alert you when 15 minutes have passed.
2. Run a 5-minute mile . By the time you are 4 and ½ minutes in, you will have already burned 100 calories. If you can’t get outside, just run in place.
3. Ride a stationary bike at 20 mph for 4 minutes 54 seconds.
4. Work on the lawn. Pull weeds for 17 minutes, rake leaves for 20 minutes, or dig dirt for 16 minutes.
5. Calisthenics. Spending 15 minutes doing some light body weight squats, lunges, jumping jacks, get-ups and knee-ins will burn about 137 calories.
6. Go for a walk. A 150 pound person will burn approximately 117 calories by walking at a 4 mph speed for 20 minutes. Walk in place if you do not have a good area to walk in outdoors. Try walking in place while you watch your favorite television show!
7. Grab the vacuum. Vacuuming your home or office for 28 minutes will burn 100 calories. This is a great way to sneak in some exercise at work and get on the good list of your coworkers!
8. Chop fire wood. It is hot now, but winter is coming! Spend 5 minutes chopping fire wood and you will burn 100 calories.
9. Swim laps. It only takes 12 minutes to burn off 100 calories while swimming.
10. Mow the lawn with a push mower. 14 minutes is all it takes to zap 100 calories.
It’s happened to all of us. You know the feeling - you are away from home running errands, or you are out late because you had to stay at work longer. And you realize that you are hungry. Not just a little hungry though. You haven’t eaten for hours, your head is starting to throb, and you can’t even think straight.
Bottom line: you have to eat. Now!
As you survey your options, you realize that getting something to eat that is even remotely healthy is going to be nearly impossible. But you have little choice, so you grab a burger or a salad with “grilled chicken.” (Do you have any idea how much that piece of ‘grilled chicken’ has been processed and soaked and manipulated and transformed before it arrives in front of you?) Or a small order of fries just to get you through.
And just like that you have put food into your body that will lower your immune response, raise your blood sugar, reduce your energy and contribute to weight gain.
It is a tough situation, and like I said, we’ve all been there. Sometimes you really do have to eat ‘right now.’ But over time, these eating emergencies add up and significantly impact your health and fitness achievement.
The answer is to stop having eating emergencies, and I will show you how to do this. It does take some planning, but it isn’t as hard as you might think.
The first step is to make a list of healthy, on-the-go foods that you enjoy eating. Make sure that you include things with healthy fats, protein and carbs (if it’s around your workout time). When you are very hungry, you need to have all the macronutrients covered in order to get quick energy, satisfy your hunger and clear your brain fog. This does not have to be a complete meal, but it needs to be balanced enough to substitute for one if needed.
Here are some ideas to help you get started.
· Unsalted nuts: Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts. (These will provide protein and good fat)
· Raw Veggies: They are crisp, juicy, cold and sweet and full of the micronutrients your body craves.
· Cheese: If you eat dairy, having a small slice of your favorite cheese will give you a complete protein, a little fat and be very comforting. Remember: the goal is to tame the beast inside you that is calling out for a hotdog from the nearest drive through window. This is a mental exercise as well as physical!
· Boiled eggs. Do you like cold, salted boiled eggs? They are a powerhouse of protein. Just be sure to get free range eggs.
· Sardines. Yes, you read that right. If you like fish, you can buy small packets of wild caught sardines that travel very well.
· Water. You have to drink water.
The second step seems obvious, but it has to happen if you are going to eliminate impulse eating: buy the food on your list . You have to get it in your house, so you have it when you need it.
The third step is to plan your food kit. This food has to travel with you, and you have to decide how you are going to transport it. The secret is convenience. If you only have five minutes to grab your kit on your way out the door before work, it has to be streamlined. Ideally you will leave yourself more than five minutes, but life happens.
Here are some tips to help you set up your food kit for ease and speed.
· Small cooler: Purchase a small cooler that will hold an ice pack and several other things. Keep this in your kitchen so you can grab it on the go.- Plates, utensils, napkins. Whether you use paper/plastic or your everyday items, get a bag and put a couple of plates, some utensils and some napkins in it. You will use this same bag every time you use your kit, so it becomes a habit. It can be a plastic bag, a cloth bag or a paper bag. It doesn’t matter. The point is that you can grab this bag on your way out the door and know that it has what you need in it.
· Small storage containers or plastic bags. You need individual containers to put your food in. Don’t take the whole package of cheese or the whole bag of chocolate chips, because you will end up eating too much. Put one or two pieces of cheese in a container, and put only 7-8 chocolate chips in a bag. Toss some nuts in one container, some cut up fruit in another. Also, you don’t have to prepare everything in advance. In a pinch, you can eat a big bell pepper just like an apple! Just have a plan so you can get it fast when needed. Some things don’t have to be separately packaged, such as your nut butter. Just toss the whole jar in the cooler…if you can control yourself.
· A tote bag or duffle bag. This bag will be your “picnic basket,” so to speak. Stuff everything into it that does not go into the cooler.
· Water bottle. You need something to store a lot of water in.
NOW DO IT
You’ve done the hard part. You’ve figured out what foods will make you happy and help you through the emergency, you’ve stocked up on them, you have gathered what you need for transport and you have your water situation figured out.All that is left is making it happen. You have to take the food with you when you leave the house. The first few times you do this, it will seem complicated and tedious. But eventually, you will do it with little thought. It will be habit. That is why using the same cooler, the same bags and the same water container every time is so important. You will likely even find you grab the same foods nearly every time—it’s just e
easier. And it has to be easy, or you won’t do it.The happy result is that when you are out and realize you are hungry, you will not have to eat food from a
restaurant. You will have an assortment of health and energy promoting foods at your fingertips.
Each year, on the last Monday of May, we celebrate Memorial Day. Originally this day instituted as a day of honoring those who died during the Civil War, it eventually became a day to remember any soldier who died fighting in the United States Armed Forces.
Each year, on the last Monday of May, we salute our Warriors by running 'The Murph Challenge' at HIT Fitness Warehouse . From 6 am to 10 am we will be grinding thru this challenge every hour on the hour, 6am, 7am, 8am and 9am.
Memorial Day is the perfect time to pause and consider how much we owe to those men and women who have given up their lives in the pursuit and defense of freedom. We are so accustomed to living with this freedom in our country, that it is easy to take it for granted. It is hard to appreciate it when we do not know anything different. Just like a fish who doesn’t realize it is wet (because it has never been anything else but wet), we tend to not realize the magnitude of privilege that is ours.
It takes warriors to build a country where freedom is the rule, rather than the exception. And Memorial Day is a time to honor those wounded warriors who have made our lives of freedom possible.
But we can honor those wounded warriors even more by seeking to emulate them in their courage to fight against destructive forces.
What happens when the enemy is not confronted and defeated? He wins and the noble cause suffers.
What about you? Are you a warrior? Do you know what your enemy is?
Your enemy is the typical, unhealthy lifestyle that nearly everyone around you is living . And it is deadly for two reasons:
1. It is hard to recognize . Just like the water surrounding the fish, the status quo is so normal, so common, that we just live it with very little contemplation. Of course you eat dessert after dinner. Of course you grab a doughnut on the way to work. Of course you do not exercise the recommended six days each week. Of course you are overweight. Isn’t everyone living this way? Yes, nearly everyone is.
It leads to illness, early disability and death
If you follow the status quo of diet and lifestyle, you will be increasingly
tired, weak, sick and in pain. It will
not get better; it will get worse with each passing year, finally ending in
dependence on others.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET UP AND FIGHT!
Memorial Day is a perfect day to reflect on your willingness to fight. Resisting the tide of ‘normal’ unhealthy eating and sedentary-ness is no walk in the park. You’ve got to press in and fight like a warrior. It isn’t easy and it isn’t always fun. But the resulting energy, vitality, strength and mental clarity that will be your new ‘normal’ way of life will be worth every bit of effort and sweat you put into it.
We’re behind you. We create warriors here. Join us to learn how to set your life on a new course. Forget the past—leave it in the past. It doesn’t matter what your track record is with fitness and health. We focus on the future here. And with us, your future looks great!
So please join us for our annual ' MURPH CHALLENGE ' as we throwdown and show some GRIT in honor of our Vets and Troops currently serving.
GO TO: THE MURPH CHALLENGE
Looking for something different to throw into your
workout routine to help promote fat loss?
Strongman training is a fun, adaptable and effective approach that you can do almost anywhere to get amazing results in a short period of time. Without getting too sciency on you, I want to give you the basics on how it works and give you the tools to create your own program to turn everyday chores into a strongman routine.
Strongman training is comprised of heavy and intense
interval training, just another form of HIIT . Contrary to popular belief, this style of anaerobic training
is more effective for fat burning than aerobic training because it forces the
body to adapt in a way that prioritizes burning fat as fuel and releases growth
hormone (GH) – which is great for fat regulation. Aerobic training, on the
other hand, tends to burn carbohydrates first and can increase cortisol
production in a way that leads to muscle degradation.
The reason anaerobic interval training works so much better is that it requires the body to adapt metabolically—your body is forced to burn fat to sustain the level of intensity being asked of it. It also elevates energy use for more than 24 hours post-workout, which has a dramatic effect on belly fat loss. ( Is Aerobic or Anaerobic Training Best for Getting Rid of Belly Fat? , Charles Poliquin)
Strongmen (and women) burn more fat even up to 24-hours and longer after they finish their workouts! Anaerobic training, such as strongman training, increase excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) which means you keep burning fat after you finish your workout. A 2006 review showed that protocols that are more anaerobic in nature produce higher EPOC values than steady-state aerobic training because the trained muscle cells must rest restore physiological factors in the cells, which translates to a lot of energy expenditure. ( Is Aerobic or Anaerobic Training Best for Getting Rid of Belly Fat? , Charles Poliquin)
Another element of strongman training that promotes fat loss is the use of odd-shaped and unevenly balanced objects. Using Sleds, Ropes, Medicine Balls, Sand Bags, and all other sorts of different and odd-shaped implements in strongman training not only keeps training interesting, but it also creates barriers to vastly improved efficiency. While efficiencies are great for performance, a more efficient athlete may not be working quite so hard. Efficiencies are developed when an athlete’s brain figures out which muscles to activate and which to relax to permit the best coordination of effort. If the balance point of the odd object is always changing, this process becomes much more difficult and the athlete will have to fire nearly every muscle just to stabilize the loads. The more muscles involved, the more energy expended, and thus, better weight loss results.
I use strongman training with many of my clients at least once a week and I hope it is something that they look forward to because of the challenge and diversity of the movements. Not only does it increase lean muscle mass, but also transferable strength and it can help correct structural imbalances. Besides all the scientific evidence of why it’s great, I believe strongman training also improves mental toughness and promotes teamwork. It can be easily suited to all levels, and can be done almost anywhere with any object.
It is fun to get creative with exercises and workouts. so I want to provide you with a few options that you can use either in the gym, or better yet, in your own backyard. Look for exercises that call for you to move or hold onto a heavy load for a period of time of 30-120 seconds. Some of my favorites are:
Choose 3-5 exercises to work with at a time trying to vary the movements as much as possible from different categories like push, pull, carry, lift from ground, lower to ground, explosive, constant, etc. Give yourself a very small rest between exercises (15-30 seconds) which should basically just be viewed as transition time. Once you start the movement, push as hard or fast as you can until you complete it. The workout can take anywhere from 15-30+ minutes where you are moving constantly but the intensity is varied based on the movement or task.
Sample Strongman Workout in Gym
Rope Whips x 60 reps (as quickly as possible)
Rest 15 seconds
Low Bar Sled Push x 25 yards (as heavy as possible)
Rest 15 seconds
Medicine Ball Ground-to-Shoulder x 10 reps (as heavy as possible)
Rest 15 seconds
Farmer Carry x 50 yards (as heavy as possible)
Sample Stongman Workout at Home
Mulch Bag Toss (onto wheelbarrow) x 5 bags
Rest 20-30 seconds
Wheelbarrow Sprint (to back yard) x 60 yards
Rest 20-30 seconds
Zercher Squats x 5 reps per bag (25 reps per round)
Rest 20-30 seconds
Give them a shot and let me know how they go!
As a Coach, the job is to learn, become an expert in the field, and then apply and pass on this knowledge to clients, proteges, people who value and appreciate this knowledge. This is priority NUMERO UNO, as a Coach…Motivate and Support. But it is so very easy to forget about oneself and what needs to be done for ME…What about my ‘WHY’?
My WHY was easy to answer when competing in organized sports…Collegiate wrestling, football, MMA,…My WHY was obvious to me when training and working with Bobby Maximus to become a Gym Jones Fully Certified Instructor . But what now?!?!
We recently kicked off another 24 Day Transformation Challenge and I wanted something more than seeing results in my before/after pics and watching my body fat drop. So after struggling for months to find my objective I had a ‘light bulb moment’….I am OFFICIALLY declaring the ‘SPORT OF LIFE’ as the NEWEST and most common sport in the history of the world! Everyone has an Athlete in them, it’s just a matter of waking up the Athlete, aka motivation and discipline. This will be my ‘ WHY ’.
In order to be prepared for the SPORT OF LIFE I must ‘GET IT ALL’ so I am prepared for anything and everything that is thrown at me in life. So I began testing and found that I am pretty well rounded with my physical skills. But there was something that I have been ignoring these last few years of my life and it was not a physical skill…. time management and planning ….Otherwise known as organizational skills .
I set a goal for myself EVERYDA Y to become better than I was the previous day. And I began by developing a Sport/Job-Specific training program and schedule, logging my workouts AND my daily nutrition . In turn, this should keep me accountable to finishing what I started
The mindset of #GetItALL is imperative to succeed in my training & in Life. With the goal, focus, and MY WHY of training for life... a time in life where I am no longer competing in sports but I still have that edge and that aggressive desire to kick ass and take names, I will train with the below described style of combining the most critical physical components together: -Strength Endurance -Speed / Explosive Power Endurance -Muscle Building -Conditioning / Stamina -Mental Toughness -Staying Lean / Fat Loss
My weekly TRAINING SCHEDULE will be the same for the next 4 WEEKS. Highlighted classes are the classes I plan on taking. MONDAY Warrior Combat will always be an Upper Body focused session, WEDNESDAY Warrior Combat will always be a Lower Body focused workout. TUESDAY Warrior Bootcamp will be a Kettlebell or Dumbell complex, while THURSDAY Warrior Bootcamps will be a Barbell complex. FRIDAY Tabata Bootcamp is now changed to Warrior Combat and will be focusing on ‘Aerobic Intervals + Core Stabilization’ . I will be including ‘Mobility Work’ three days a week for 20-30 minutes and then get spinal alignment adjustments at CARPE DIEM CHIROPRACTIC with Dr Barak Meraz. Saturday and Sunday will NOT be rest days…I plan on using these for ‘ active recovery’ work and hit on 45-60 minutes of ‘Cardio respiratory’ development.
*Week 1 is where I establish baseline weights and dial in technique, SLOW AND STEADY STABILE STRENGTH.
*Week 2 is a time to add a rep(s) & / or lift heavier than week 1, STRENGTH ENDURANCE/STAMINA. Set PRs in any possible way. PRs are also viewed in terms of technical improvements, experiencing less fatigue, etc - NOT just by going heavier or adding reps.
*Week 3 is going to be moving Heavy Loads as FAST as possible – goal is to create maximum force with maximum weight, MAX STRENGTH.
*Week 4 is going to be an emphasis on ‘PACED POWER’ - focusing on a weight of approx. 60-70% of my 1 RM (weights recorded from week 3) for high sets & low reps. The speed work serves as a form of recovery AND will then follow up my speed work with athletic movements such as running, jumping, medicine ball and sled work with light resistance for longer duration & repeating reps…aka Paced Power.
This is for you, Moms. In fact, whether you are a mom or not, this is for all the women out there who feel trapped in a cycle of, “One day, I am going to eat healthy, lose weight and really take care of myself.”
It’s time to get un-stuck, and we are here to help.
We know that it is hard to find time to focus on you. And when you finally do take some time for yourself, you probably have a vague sense of guilt that there are other things more worthy of whatever effort or sacrifice you are making to work on you.
That’s part of being a mom. You put others first.
But consider this . Neglecting yourself is not good for you or those people who depend on you. The only way you can keep attending to your many responsibilities and joys is if your health is optimum.
Once your health starts declining, you will have no choice but to focus on yourself.
Wouldn’t you rather do it now and know what it feels like to be fit and full of energy and still be there for those people who depend on you?
IT'S HARD TO START
Yes, starting is hard. In fact, it is probably the hardest part.
It may be hard because you’ve ‘started’ before and failed. That doesn’t matter anymore. You are not doing it alone this time. We are here to walk with you every step of the way. We’re looking forward, not backward.
It may be hard because you have no idea where you will find the time to exercise. We’ll help you with that too. That’s what we do.
It may be hard because changing life-long patterns of eating seems completely undesirable right now. We’ve been there. And believe me; if some of us can do it, you can too. The amazing thing is that once you get a taste of the energy and vitality that eating well brings, you won’t look back.
WAITING IS DANGEROUS
Listen. The longer you wait to take your health seriously, the more damage you are doing to your body.
There is only one way to slow down, stop and reverse many of the effects of aging (whether you are 20 or 70 years old): sensible eating and consistent exercise . (Well, that’s two, but they have to happen together)
You’ve dreamed about it long enough.
Make this Mother’s Day the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Thousands of women just like you are doing it. And we want to help you do it.
Be strong, vibrant, fit and full of energy.
Fitness starts in your mind. Ask any athlete or fit person what the number one secret is to his success at fitness, and he will tell you it is commitment.
Commitment means that you are in it for the long haul. Commitment rises above bad days, hectic schedules and volatile emotions. Commitment hangs in there when you don’t want to do it, when you don’t feel like doing it and when you don’t have time to do it.
True commitment doesn’t depend on how you feel. It depends on your integrity and on living for the purpose you have set for yourself.
Are you committed to get fit?
NO WEEKEND WARRIORS
Committing to be fit eliminates the weekend warrior syndrome. You may know a weekend warrior. He is the person who does little physical exercise during the week, but when the weekend arrives, he blasts out of the gate like a stallion on Derby Day. In a desperate attempt to make up for his sedentary behavior all week, he goes to the gym or hits the pavement, pushing himself to the limit.
The result, however, is not what he expects.
He will likely end up with an injury , because his muscles, tendons and joints are not conditioned for the intensity of his exercise.
But he is also not getting in shape, because he is not committed . Physical fitness depends on consistency. And consistency requires commitment. It takes consistent, near-daily exercise to cause your body to make the changes that bring about fitness. For example, your joints and tendons will strengthen, your aerobic base will improve as your body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen and ridding itself of carbon dioxide, and your endurance will increase.
In fact, that you do something consistently is as important, or maybe even more important, than what you actually do. Even if you are just doing low intensity walking, doing it every day is infinitely better than doing something more strenuous only occasionally.
But the real rewards come when you not only commit to intense workouts, but you also commit to being consistent with those workouts.
In order to get fit, you do not need expensive clothes, fancy home-gym equipment or a complicated workout plan.
What you need is commitment. If you are committed, the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
You can start today. Don’t overthink this. Just start, and commit to doing something every single day.
- Lack of convenience
Whether you are thinking of taking on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, have already purchased your challenge bundle, or are a few days in….then this post is for YOU! Let’s get you your money’s worth and load you up with 24 tips to get the best possible results over the next 24 days and beyond.
As some of you may already know, My wife Carolina and I are Owners of HIT Fitness Warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Our Team of Coaches and members act as a large support group that will help to coach through the challenge. Although Carolina and myself have over 30 years of combined experience in the 'Health and Exercise Sport Science' industry, much of the data We have gathered has been through the experience of working with so many people. We all seem to face the same road blocks, we all struggle with the same questions and we all seem to find the same success by making adjustments where we need to. Trial and Error!
I will just come out and say that we like to run a pretty strict 24 Day Challenge within our HIT Fitness Team . Everyone has their opinion of "Do's and Don't". Some may say they cut out all carbs and others may claim 'gluten free' is the best. But I am going to share advice that has yielded the best results for me and the majority of our fellow Challengers! Best of all...we have the data to prove it! Over the years we found that not everyone has the same goals....some may desire weight loss , while others might want to focus on ' Gaining Lean Muscle Mass' and improving their performance. So we have customized meal plans and training regimens based off of the individuals specific goals!
YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF....MAKE THE COMMITMENT!
For details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zig Ziglar once
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
And each of us knows
from our own experience that he is right.
The general flow of human life tends to be toward ease and comfort. One day flows into the next, and many of us
never quite get around to turning our good intentions into reality.
Those ‘good intentions, ’ while no doubt admirable, tend to remain unrealized mainly because they are too vague. Vague ideas are impossible to focus on and aim for; they are moving targets.
Do you have moving targets in your life? Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the winter weight that has crept upon you. Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and stick with it this time .
The keys to your success are two-fold: steady the target and create momentum.
HOW TO STOP A MOVING TARGET
Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target. He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left. Will he ever hit that target? Not likely.
Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target. You would like to lose some weight, feel a little better, make a change in your diet--but without clearly defined goals and methods, you can’t focus and make it happen.
The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to define your goals and write them down:
Once you know where you want to end up, you are much more likely to get there.
But you have to start moving toward your goals. That is where momentum comes in.
CREATE MOMENTUM TO REACH YOUR GOALS
In his book, Eat that Frog , Brian Tracy discusses the Momentum Principle of Success. In Tracy’s words:
“ This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going .”1
There is much wisdom in his words. Sometimes, the hardest part of reaching a goal is just getting started . That first day of doing things differently or the first experience of bypassing an unhealthy treat in favor of a food that will give you more energy can be daunting. It isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t fun.
So how do you get that momentum? How do you start moving? Accountability is the answer. Having someone else involved in your efforts can be the most important factor in your success.
It is hard to change lifelong habits on your own. You need radical motivation that comes from involving others in your efforts. Setting deadlines, making commitments and entering contests all provide an external motivation that will carry you through even the toughest temptations.
And once you get started, you will find that the momentum principle kicks in and it becomes easier and easier to keep going.
Q1: Since being a member at HIT Fitness Warehouse, has your understanding of fitness and your health changed?
A: Yes, having an understanding of the benefits of the workouts, the movements we do, the correct form, the importance of nutrition and fueling for exercise has made it more effective! So just the fact that I know understand the "WHY", has helped taken my fitness and commitment to the next level which in turn has helped build a better "ME".
Q2: You have done a great job staying consistent to a plan so what’s your secret to finding time to exercise?
A : The key is to not put yourself in the situation where you can say 'no, i don't feel like training today.' OR 'I'm gonna take today off and ill go tomorrow.' ....If you take your FITNESS seriously then it MUST BE A PRIORITY! The rest of your day works around your health and wellness, because if you do not have your health, then you have nothing.
Q3: Do you have suggestions for those who seem to think they don’t have time to exercise?
A: Take that out of your head and start from scratch. As I said in the previous question...your FITNESS MUST BE A PRIORITY !
Q4: Do you have any tips for beginners just starting out?
A: Have fun with it and Don't be afraid to try something you have never done before and don't be intimidated by the fitness level of others. The coaches at HIT FITNESS WAREHOUSE are the best you will have and they can do the thinking for you.
Q5: What benefits and results have you noticed since you began at HIT Fitness Warehouse?
A : I use this time to spend with my son Cole, and this has allowed us to build an even tighter bond with one another! Thank you #TEAMHFW !
More Bang For Your Buck
If you’re like most people who are balancing a hectic schedule, you probably don’t have a ton of time to spend in the gym. Or maybe you are looking to get more bang for your buck because you’ve hit a weight loss plateau in with your usual cardio routine. That is why we created our GREAT 8 CHALLENGE aka PERSONALIZED SMALL GROUP TRAINING because it is possible – and can even be ideal – to achieve these results by cutting your workouts to 45 or even 30 minutes if you bump up the intensity.
The Fat-Burning Zone is a Misunderstood Concept
How many times have you heard that in order to really burn fat, you’ve got to work in the heart rate range of 50-70% of your maximum for at least 30 minutes? There’s even convenient charts posted on nearly every piece of cardio equipment in all the traditional gyms you go to (if you’re cheating on us here at HIT Fitness), so it must be true. Fortunately for us, it’s not.
Yes, it is true that fat makes up the bulk of your body’s fuel for most of your daily activities and in low-intensity aerobic exercise where you’re either working for long periods of time or not breathing exceptionally hard. This fact is where the idea comes from that you must be in a certain sub-maximal heart rate range to maximally burn fat. The problem is that this is a misunderstood point.
A Higher Intensity of Exercise Yields More Results
If I only have 30 minutes to workout and use it to work at a slow and steady pace on the stairmaster while I watch TV, I might burn, say, 100 calories, approximately 50% of which are from fat. Now, if I do a more intense session, like a PERSONALIZED SMALL GROUP session instead then I am at a much higher heart rate (and therefore intensity level) and I could burn about 300 calories, of which maybe only 30% are fat, with glucose and glycogen making up the bulk of the rest (a small amount of protein gets burned as well). “See, you burn more fat at an easier pace!” the exercise magazines will tell you. But anyone with some basic math skills can see that more total fat was burned in the high-intensity workout (90 calories vs. 50) than the lower one, and the first workout merely had a greater percentage of calories burned from fat.
Why Higher Intensity Works: The Afterburn Effect
To understand this, we need to address the concept of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC . Oxygen consumption serves as an approximation of your metabolic rate, and therefore how many calories you are burning in a given period of time. EPOC, then, is the effect seen following exercise in which the body is burning more oxygen (and more calories) for a period of time anywhere from a few minutes to more than a day. This results in an elevated metabolism and creates what Alwyn Cosgrove calls an ‘afterburn.’ A study performed in 2002 at Ohio University found that following heavy resistance training circuits, EPOC was significantly elevated over baseline for 38 hours.
Doing the Math on EPOC
Using this data, let’s go back to that treadmill example. Suppose the machine tells you that you burned 300 calories in your hour spent on the treadmill. EPOC occurs as a result of aerobic training as well, but the magnitude and duration of the increase is less than that seen with resistance or interval training.
Now let’s say that at the same time you were on the hamster wheel, your friend did the aforementioned heavy lifting followed by a few minutes of short intervals on the Assault Bike. It’s likely that he didn’t burn as many calories as you in his exercise session, but let’s now look at the whole picture, i.e. all of the time following the workout. If your friend worked hard enough to bump his EPOC up to where he’s burning a paltry eight additional calories per hour, 38 hours later when his oxygen consumption returns to normal, he’s burned more calories than you, and he accomplished it in a much shorter workout.
And then think of how it would affect him if he went and worked out the next day too! Would EPOC go even higher? It is not certain whether EPOC is cumulative, but even without an additive affect, the benefits are easy to see.
Would You Rather?
Would you rather be burning more calories in the 23 hours a day you’re not at HIT Fitness Warehouse , or just burning the same old amount as usual in the 22 hours you’re not at a traditional gym (not to mention that you’d only be running and not developing your strength, flexibility, accuracy, so its taking you at least 2 hours before you leave...)?
If you have a weight loss goal, don’t resist your strength work. Stick to the program and talk to your coaches about making minor modifications to your fitness and nutrition programs to help you achieve your results most efficiently.
Our PERSONALIZED SMALL GROUP training is something you might want to check out – we focus on developing basic strength with bodyweight movements and dumbbells with short rest intervals and lots of variety to keep up the intensity over 45-60 minute session while monitoring your Heart Rate . The Great 8 Challenge (when offered) or Personalized Small Groups are great for advanced trainees to reincorporate some of the basics and fundamentals as to build a stronger foundation fort competing. As well as something great to introduce to your friends and colleagues who are ‘too busy’ or intimidated to come into the gym or beginners, as it will teach them the basics right from the 'get-go'! C OME ON AND CHECK OUT OUR NEW PERSONALIZED SMALL GROUP TRAINING NOW TO GET YOUR FREE SUCCESS SESSION!
Spring is a
time of new beginnings. As the world
wakes up from its long sleep, our minds feel energized, refreshed and ready to
celebrate. Does your body
feel the same way?
If you haven’t been working consistently on your fitness and health this winter, your body may be struggling to keep up with your mind. It’s hard to make a new start when you feel sluggish and discouraged.
That’s why we exist: to help you move from reality to your dream. If you have tried and failed at fitness, then you likely feel too paralyzed to try again. Motivating people to get healthy, however, is what I do best. But you have to let me help you! Let’s get started.
A quick look back
We are going to focus mainly on what is ahead for you; the past is the past and it is best to leave it there. However, in order to make the best start, we need to take a look at what may have sabotaged your previous efforts to get in shape
· Impatience - Because we live in a society that is used to instant gratification, it can come as quite a shock to find that fitness doesn’t happen fast. I don’t care how many infomercials you watch that promise you a 6 pack in 6 weeks, it is not going to happen. There is no short cut to fitness. If you grew frustrated in the past because results didn’t happen as fast as you would like, prepare yourself now for a different attitude: we will celebrate small results and be patient as the transformation happens.
· Lack Of Planning - The biggest sabotage in any fitness plan is lack of planning. If you have tried fitness and failed, it is almost certain that you came up short in the area of planning. Without forethought and intentionality, you cannot eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep each night and stick with an exercise routine. This time, you will plan before you start.
· Support - If you have attempted to get fit with little support, you are not alone. Many people try to change their lifestyle on their own. The trouble with this approach is that those around you will probably not value what you are doing. They will unintentionally or intentionally sabotage your efforts. For example, they may resent the time you take to workout, or they may ridicule you for the radical changes you make to your diet. However, you will have support this time, and the difference will shock you.
FORWARD FROM HERE
Today you start fresh and leave the past behind. Yes, you may have quit during your previous attempts to be healthy. That doesn’t matter now. What matters is what you do today, tomorrow and next week.
The following tips will help you make a strong start and make this time different.
1. “Do not be afraid of the space between your dream and your present reality.”
This is where patience and courage comes in.
What is your dream or your goal? Do you want to lose 20 pounds? Do you want to run a mile? Do you want to eat a diet that energizes you? Maybe you want to exercise for 6 days a week.
Do not let the distance you have to cover cause you to give up before you even begin. Recognize that this will take some time. Every single fit person you know started somewhere short of where they are now. How did they get to their present condition? By taking it one day at a time, celebrating every victory and getting up when they fall down. You can do the same.
2. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” -Alan Lakein
Have you ever heard of the tyranny of the urgent? It means that if you don’t have a plan, the matter that seems to be the most urgent at the time will get attention, at the exclusion of the others. Without a plan, your own health will always take a backseat to what seems the most important at the moment—and that could be as simple as a television show that you want to watch! Having a plan will keep less important things from creeping in and sabotaging your health.
Count on it: if you do not plan for fitness and health, it simply will not happen . This time, make a plan.
Before you even start your new healthy lifestyle, decide:
· When and how you will get your exercise ( bootcamp? running in the mornings? treadmill at the gym after work?)
· What foods you will eat and how you will ensure that you have access to those foods (do you have a small cooler that you can take along with you? What will your breakfasts consist of? How much caffeine will you allow yourself?)
· How you will arrange your schedule so that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night (do you need to get the kids in bed sooner or prepare your lunches on the weekends to save time in the morning?
Without a strategy, you set yourself up for failure. Plan on succeeding! Take some time right now to jot down some ideas to overcome the obstacles that you know will arise. Be prepared for them, and you will breeze through them.
3. No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. -H.E. Luccock
It is no secret that the biggest predictor of whether a person succeeds in their fitness and weight loss efforts is whether or not he has accountability . I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: getting fit is not easy . If it were, we would not have our current epidemic of obesity. If it were easy, more people would be doing it! In order to make sure you succeed this time, get some support. That support could come from a few friends who are making a new beginning with you, a personal trainer or a boot camp instructor .
The people in your support system will be genuinely interested in how you are doing. They will encourage you when you lose your motivation . They will cheer when you get up early to exercise. They will talk you out of eating those brownies. They will expect you to tell them how you are doing. And they will not let you fade out of the program: they will come after you if you start slacking.
Are you ready for your New Beginning ? It is within reach!
Other than New
Year’s, there is probably no other time during the year that motivates us to
make a fresh start like springtime does.
When the warm breezes start blowing, we want to throw open the windows and
let the rebirth all around us revitalize our homes and our spirits.
Because it seems natural to clean out the old during this time of year, it’s a great time to come face to face with our excuses for not getting fit and healthy. Excuses pile up just like the clutter that we accumulate in our houses, but it’s time to come clean.
What is your excuse for not choosing health?
I don’t have the time to exercise: This is likely one of the most common excuses. You are busy. You have to work all day (or all night), you have to get the kids to school, you have to cook dinner, go to the grocery store, mow the lawn, change the oil in the car, care for your aging parents—there is simply no time for exercise.
Consider this. If you do not exercise, you will almost certainly begin experiencing the illness and disease that comes from an inactive lifestyle. When you begin experiencing symptoms, you will have to make an appointment with the doctor, drive to your appointment, wait to be seen, schedule additional tests at the hospital, and wait for your prescriptions to be filled at the pharmacy. And with chronic illness, this scenario will be played out month after month after month. And it takes a lot of time.
Will you find the time in your busy life to see to your medical issues?
Yes, of course you will. You will make sure that you adjust your schedule and your life to accommodate your illness . So why not adjust your schedule now to accommodate the prevention of illness through exercise? You do have the time; you just have to decide to use it.
The truth is that
"if you do not make the time for exercise, you will have to make time for illness."
And exercise takes a lot less time out of your life than disease.
I don’t like to exercise: Again, a pretty common excuse. But it won’t let you off the hook. Lots of people do not like to exercise, but they make themselves do it anyway. Do you like feeling tired? Do you like being overweight? Do you like having to undergo medical tests? Without exercise, you will feel tired, be overweight and become sick, so it comes down to choosing your ‘dislike.’
I don’t have the energy to exercise: If you are unfit, you likely have low energy. And when you don’t have much energy, the last thing you can imagine is exercising. But until you become more active, you will not have the energy you so long for. As you begin exercising, you will start having more energy. You won’t start feeling better until you start moving.
It’s just not the right time for me to start working out. “I’ll start working out when…
· I get some decent exercise clothes
· Summer vacation starts
· The kids go back to school
· I get my house organized
· Work lets up
· I have more time
· Life calms down
· The kids get older
· The weather warms up a little
· The weather cools down a little
· Someday…just not today
It will never be the perfect time to start a fitness routine.
You just have to start.
Surrender your excuses
Decide to stop hiding behind your excuses. Make a clean sweep and toss those excuses out. Everybody has excuses for not exercising. The fit and healthy people around you choose to give up the excuses and just do it. That doesn’t mean it is easy for them. It just means that they love feeling energetic, strong, healthy, and empowered enough to push in and get it done.
You can be that way too.
Now that the weather is getting nice, you may be tempted to forgo your resistance
training and head outdoors for some aerobic exercise in the fresh air. But beware:
if you give up your resistance training, you will be giving up more than
you bargained for.
Why resistance train?
Resistance training is critical for true fitness. Without it, your muscles will atrophy. If you aren’t building muscle, you are likely losing it.
And if you are 20 or older, you are definitely losing muscle, unless you are working hard to build it. Beginning at age 20, we begin naturally losing muscle mass every decade.
The old liché holds true for muscle mass: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Have you ever broken your arm or leg and had to wear a cast for a few weeks? Remember what greeted you when the cast was removed? Your arm or leg was a lot smaller and felt weak. That is because just a few weeks of disuse caused the muscles to begin atrophying.
Here are some of the benefits of resistance training:
· Stops muscle loss and helps begin the rebuilding process.
· Makes daily acttivites easier, from carrying groceries to rearraging your furniture.
· Gives you a sculpted look.
· Increases bone density, giving you a strong, stable skeleton.
· Improves balance and coordination.
· Prevents decay of the pads between your bones, so that you do not hurt when you move.
· Causes the tendons to grow deeper into your bones, reducing the chance of tearing.
· Builds muscles which will burn more calories, even while you are resting.
· Reduces blood pressure by making your heart stronger.
· Increases your metabolism.
· Decreases blood sugar, which helps prevent insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes).
· Improves your aerobic capacity: the stronger your muscles, the better your endurance.
· Gives you a general feeling of wellness and strength. If you are strong, you feel strong.
· Makes you a better athlete: there is no substitue for strength!
· Prevents the weak, frail “skinny-fat” look.
· Raises your energy level. The more muscle you have, the less effort you have to exert and the more energy you have available.
· Secures future protection against falls and fractures. If you age with dense bones, strong muscles and good balance, your risk of injury plummets.
· Creates 22% more afterburn than aerobic exercise does. (Afterburn refers to the fat and calories that your body burns in the hours after you have finished your workout.)
Still tempted to give up resistance training?
Why aerobic exercise is not enough
“ But ,” the question goes, “ Can’t I just go for a run and build muscle? I’m using muscles when I run! ”
The answer is NO! Running or other aerobic exercise is not a replacement for resistance training. They are different exercises and provide different benefits. Aerobic exercise does not deliver the needed stress to your bones, muscles and tendons.
In order to build strength, you have to pull hard on tendons, do microscopic damage to your muscles and literally bend your bones. Going out for a run or putting in an hour on the treadmill will not do this sufficiently.
This is not to say that aerobic exercise is not important: it is! But it is not resistance training. You need both. And if you omit one, you do your body a great disservice.
Avoid the “skinny fat” syndrome
Another danger of focusing on cardio or aerobic exercise to the exclusion of resistance training is becoming what is known as “skinny fat.” Skinny fat is a condition in which a person appears thin on the outside, but inside they are unhealthy and at risk for illness.
If you are losing weight through diet and exercise but not simultaneously doing resistance training, you are not only losing fat: you are losing muscle as well. Your body will burn through your muscles tissue as surely as it will burn through your fat. As you lose muscle, you lose a major source of energy, and you lose tone and definition.
Further, as you lose muscle, your bones become weak, because they do not have to do as much work. Weak bones are a precursor to osteoporosis.
Hidden fat is also a risk for the “skinny fat” person. When 800 slim people underwent an MRI scan to check for visceral or hidden fat, 45% were found to have excessive amounts of internal fat, undetectable from the outside1. Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat to have, because it accumulates around organs such as the pancreas, heart and liver and then begins releasing hormones and other secretions that lead to disease.
Resistance training can reduce visceral fat and help prevent the additional formation around the organs.
Don’t give up your resistance training just because spring is here and you are eager to get outside. There is no substitute for lifting heavy weights 2 to 3 times each week. Your health is on the line. GET AFTER IT!
*This is something that caught me by surprise and taught me something that I had underestimated for years. The power of probiotic's!
After a long, tough run, capped with a half-mile hill climb, you’re spent. To quench your thirst and restore your spirits, you uncap your water bottle and take a long, refreshing sip of…fizzy sour milk?
Believe it or not, kefir—a drink similar to thin yogurt that’s been consumed for centuries in the Caucasus Mountains—and its fermented relatives may be an important addition to your training diet. Mounting research shows that these traditional foods (and their modern supplement cousins) offer a range of benefits that can positively affect your athletic performance.
Probiotics: What Are They?
You’ve doubtless heard (maybe from one of those inescapable yogurt commercials?) that “probiotics” are a good thing that you should be consuming regularly. But behind that nebulous term, which literally means “for life,” is a wide variety of tiny bacteria and yeasts with the ability to colonize the human gastrointestinal tract. Once they’re established, these organisms are known as the “gut microbiota” and can confer a number of benefits on their hosts, from crowding out disease-causing pathogens to fighting infections.
Which foods contain probiotics? Yogurt containing live cultures (primarily Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) is the most familiar and most intensively studied source. Researchers in the early 20th century first theorized that Bulgarian peasants’ heavy consumption of yogurt might be responsible for their longer lifespans and overall better health compared to their peers in other places.
But yogurt’s not the only (or necessarily the best) source of probiotics. In addition to kefir and other dairy products, foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, kombucha, and sour pickles all include them. Their common thread: All are produced via natural fermentation processes that encourage “good” organisms to grow while slowing or stopping the growth of their “bad” counterparts. To this end, all require warm environments and starter cultures to develop their distinctive tangy flavors, produced by colonies of billions of bacteria.
Sour Taste, Sweet Rewards
Probiotics’ most researched (and most intensively marketed) benefit is their ability to help regulate digestive health. Regular probiotic consumption is linked with lower incidence of both diarrhea and constipation, as well as reduced gas, bloating, and other “tummy trouble” symptoms. For many individuals, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome or other chronic gastrointestinal issues, these benefits may be reason enough to consume probiotics. But for athletes at every level of intensity and competition, there are even more reasons to add these foods to your diet.
If colds and coughs tend to sideline you during the winter months, probiotics may help keep you in the game instead.
A recent study of 33 elite athletes demonstrated that supplementing with a multi-species probiotic was linked to fewer upper respiratory tract infections. Researchers suggest that while intense exercise increases levels of the immune-suppressing amino acid tryptophan, probiotics help keep tryptophan in check and your sinuses clear.
Probiotic-rich foods may also help shorten post-exercise recovery time. In a group of athletes subjected to super-strenuous exercise, those who consumed a probiotic supplement experienced substantially shorter periods of soreness and less muscular damage than those who supplemented with protein alone.
Already relying on protein and micronutrient supplements to keep your body in top condition? Probiotics help enhance protein absorption and synthesize both B vitamins and Vitamin K. (Read more about the role of micronutrients in your training diet in “ Micronutrients, Mega Benefits ” from the Winter 2015 issue.)
Finally, while you may exercise in part to keep your heart healthy, intense exercise also produces short-term spikes of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance produced by the liver in response to inflammation and a strong indicator of possible coronary disease. Athletes who drank kefir twice a week had lower levels of CRP after exercising than those who consumed a placebo beverage, indicating that probiotics may help protect you from cardiovascular damage.
Beyond Kombucha: Probiotic Options
For die-hard probiotic devotees, seemingly no food source is too sour, slimy, or just plain weird. Witness the popularity of kombucha, that fizzy, lightly alcoholic drink that’s produced by a sticky mat of bacteria and yeasts called a SCOBY…or of natto, a stringy concoction of fermented soybeans that’s perhaps best described as “an acquired taste.” However, even if your tastes run more to the mainstream, there are plenty of less-challenging ways to incorporate probiotics into your diet.
Naturally pickled vegetables, from cabbage to cucumbers, are a great source of health-promoting bacteria. Look for products that include “naturally fermented” and “unpasteurized” on the label, or try your hand at making your own. Sandor Katz’ book Wild Fermentation is an informative, entertaining read to get you started.
Yogurt and kefir provide the health benefits of dairy protein in addition to probiotics. Try adding them to a smoothie or simply stirring in a tablespoon of low-sugar fruit spread if you’re not a fan of their sour taste. Lifeway offers a range of fruity-flavored kefir drinks perfect for drinking on the go.
Prefer your probiotics in a pint glass? Unfiltered, unpasteurized beers offer a healthy dose along with good cheer. Look for Belgian sours, varieties with live yeast, or anything made according to “ancient” or “traditional” recipes ( Dogfish Head has a great and diverse range).
If you’re into supplementation, look for an option that includes the genus, species, and strain of each type of organism included (such as Lactobacillus plantarum 17C ) as well as the number of individuals guaranteed to be alive at the use-by date. Third-party certification by an organization like ConsumerLab or USP is another marker of quality.
And if you’re already exercising regularly, you’re ahead of the game. Exercise is associated with both higher levels of “good” gut microorganisms and a greater diversity of microbiota species, meaning you may already be carrying around a probiotic factory in your belly.
*Written By Molly Andersen, GYM JONES, Salt Lake City Utah